Bhutan is a landlocked country which covers an area of 46,500sq km, 300km long and 150km wide. Almost the entire country is mountainous, ranges in elevation from 100m to the 7541m Gangkhar Puensum peak on the Tibetan border.
Bhutan’s environment is one of the dazzling and charming which welcome most of the visitors, its environment is as diverse as its culture. The land of Thunder Dragon is, today, one of the world’s top ten global hotspots, boasting a rich and varied biodiversity.
Bhutan is covered by 72.5% of forest, and has highest species density (species richness per unit area) in the world. There are over five thousand species of plants grown here, including six hundred types of orchids, 770 species of avifauna, forty five different varieties of rhododendrons (etho metho), four hundred types of mushrooms and more than 165 species of mammals.
The Royal Bengal Tiger, generally known to survive in tropical and sub-tropical areas, has been found in Bhutan in the rich forests above 4,000m where they are known to breed.
A range of high Himalayan peaks forms part of the northern and western borders of the country, some are unexplored and not even named .There are many high mountain passes the Himalaya which is covered by snow through the years. In the central points of the northern border Himalaya range extends from Jomolhari (7314m) in the west and kula Gangri (7554m) in the east.
In the Inner Himalaya lies a range of high peaks and broad valleys and forested hillsides ranging from 1100m to 3500m in elevation, which are the largest regions of Bhutan and all the major towns including Thimphu (Capital of Bhutan) are here.
Rivers (chhus), are important in Bhutan’s geography, there are four major river systems in Bhutan, mostly known by its name as they flow through the country. Most rivers have their source in the high mountains like Amo Chhu, Kuri chhu and Gamri chhu. Bhutan’s rivers are larger and have created broader and fertile valley.
Although lager tracts have been cleared for agriculture, the southern tropical region you will find Sal, Sissu, Semal tres.Ascending from this region, temperate zone at around 1800m you will come across Pine, Maple,Oak ,Magnolia and Laurel trees. At higher elevations (2400m) finds the Hemlock, Walnut, Brich,Spruce and the national tree –the Cypress.
Blue poppy ,Bhutan’s national flower, it grows to nearly one metre tall on the rocky mountain found above the tree line (3500m to 4500m).It grows during the early monsoon, from May to July, and seeds yield oil and dies, people believes that only few can see. The Blue poppy is known for its rear and special hybrids.
We can see hundred and sixty-five species of mammals and Himalayan black bear, sloth bear and a variety of deer, the forest are the home of many monkeys and black langur .Bhutan is only known habitat of the golden langur, there are so many wild parks on the central- south border of India we can see tigers, leopards, rhinoceros, gaur, wild boar, wild dogs and deer .In the north we find snow leopards, bears and red pandas.
In the alpine region of the country you will find yaks, the rear blue sheep, Tibetan gazelle, and the Himalayan goat. Takin-Bhutan’s national animal, is completely unique, the alpine meadows are its home in summer and broadleaf forest in winter.
Bhutan is real paradise for birders; the country boasts around six hundred and seventy five species of birds. As you come across the country you are likely to come across small groups of avid bird watchers armed with binoculars and cameras, wandering into the forest. The vulnerable Black Necked Crane is the most famous for the visitors; some other bird species seen are Ospreys, Waders, and wide varieties of Ducks, Snow Pigeons, Rose finches and Accentors. Besides that, you can spot Minivets, Barbets, Sunbirds, Warblers, Cuckoos and Yuhinas.
At the high altitudes you can see the Raven, Himalayan Griffon and Vulture, more commonly visible are the blue whistling Thrush, chattering yellow billed Magpies, Choughs and many more.